Recently, agreements for the establishment of renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 5 GW were signed, by the governments of Angola, Uganda, and Zambia with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) based renewable energy company Masdar.
The projects are a part of the UAE’s Etihad 7 Initiative. This is a global development initiative that was initiated by H.E. Sheikh Shakhboor Nahyan Al Nahyan, UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The initiative’s aim is to raise public and private sector funds to provide 100 million Africans with clean electricity by 2035.
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H.E. Al Nahyan said that the UAE and African countries share a strong belief in the immense potential that clean energy provides to unlock economic as well as climate action progress.
An agreement between Masdar and the Ministry of Energy and Water of Angola to create renewable energy projects with a capacity of 2 GW was one of the agreements made under the umbrella of Etihad 7.
How Masdar’s 5GW renewable energy projects will impact the lives of the Angolans
The project will improve production capacity, create jobs, and improve access to electricity for the Angolan people. This is according to H.E. Joo Baptista Borges, Minister of Energy and Water for the Republic of Angola.
Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, H.E. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, stated that the initiative contributes to the achievement of their universal access objectives. It also contributes to the country’s energy transition goals. Meanwhile, an agreement with Masdar will see Masdar co-develop 1 GW of greenfield renewable capacity in Uganda.
Additionally, Masdar signed a deal with the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Zambia and the nation’s power utility, ZESCO Limited. The deal was entered to co-develop solar, wind, and hydroelectricity projects in Zambia with a capacity of 2 GW. The projects are expected to be undertaken over the course of the next ten years.
According to Eng. Victor Benjamin Mapani, Managing Director of ZESCO Limited, along with Zambia overall, sees the development of clean energy that is complementary to hydropower as a matter of urgency for energy security. He added that they are convinced that they have identified the right partner in Masdar. Additionally, he said that they are well-positioned to deliver value and mutual benefit through this partnership.
Solar and wind energy have a total theoretical potential of 850 TW. It is said that 600 million people in Africa lack access to reliable, affordable electricity. As a result, these agreements are expected to yield transformational benefits for local communities. They are also expected to drive socio-economic growth for the continent while meeting net-zero objectives.